Multi-function boat fenders
Fabrice Duffour is known in the yachting world as the creator of the Beacher motor boats in the Arcachon basin. But the latter is not just thinking about the boat, he invented the Eco-fender fender, a multi-function boat fender. Still in the conceptual stage for which he is looking for a developer, it would be built of reinforced plastic material with a radial carcass, like tires, ensuring strength and damping. Its ecological function lies in the use of its interior volume, accessible through a cover for the storage of the boat's bins. The space could also be used to store on-board equipment such as ammunition.
Solving the problem of garbage cans on a boat
Eco-Fender fenders will solve two major problems on boats according to Fabrice Duffour. "The patent solves two problems: that of the bins that you never know what to do on board and that of the storage of fenders thanks to their flat shape, more advantageous than large inflatable fenders. The volume is comparable to a garbage bag and there are 6 on board. We avoid bad smells in the trunks and we can sort selectively in the various fenders. Thanks to its geometry and material, the Eco-Fender stands upright and could even be used as a table bin in the cockpit."
An application in port defences can also be considered. The selective collection of waste could be done directly at the bottom of the boats in dock fenders.
Find an industrial company to develop the patent
The Eco-Fender is still only a 3D image and an idea. A patent was filed by Fabrice Duffour in 2017 with the support of Aquinov. The application for France for patent FR1870446 for a "Protection device with a reception volume" is currently being studied by the INPI. The inventor is now looking for an industrialist to develop the new fender concept. "I'm 68 years old and I'm not going to get into this now. So I'm looking for the right person with knowledge of polymers to develop the patent, even if it means keeping shares. I plan to sell about 50 000 € and 5% of sales in France. There is not a big market for the Eco-Fender, but I already have good feedback from the boating professionals contacted and it is complementary to inflatable fenders," concludes Fabrice Duffour.